2.10.2010

Light my fire




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I'm a bibliophile; I've mentioned this many times before. So when I hopped on the train and began to read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek on a kindle (highly ironic book to read via an electronic device by the way), I felt a little strange. Where's the smell of a book? What happened to leafing through thin pages or cracking the spine? Here's a secret - I always read the last page first, and there is no way I'm hitting kindle's "next page" button until the very end.


Yet as I'm gripping the center pole for dear life at 7:15 a.m. due my poor balance, kindle has magically come in handy. I can hold this thing in one hand and turn the page with the push of a button. That button is on both sides of the kindle mind you, and that fact took me a good month to figure out.


With the dawn of iPad, I wanted to explore the pros and cons of kindle 2. While my physical library may dwindle, kindle 2 holds up to 1,500 books that you purchase at discounted rates, provides access to free public domain titles, stores newspaper subscriptions and blog feeds and has a 3G Internet connection. The Internet sucks. . .period. Although it did come in handy this past snow storm when Jon was stranded without a cell phone, which is a story in and of itself. So do I feel like a fool with a cell phone, kindle and laptop? Not yet. Eventually, I'll sync the kindle to both devices.


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(The picture above is the first generation kindle, which is more difficult to navigate and thicker in width).


Plus, kindle is like a puppy that doesn't pee, poop or chew the crap out of your furniture. If you have a kindle in your hand, people are bound to stop you and chat. I'm surprised at how many people have never seen one and genuinely want a tutorial that early in the morning.


I think I'm getting used to the idea of an electronic library, and thank goodness I can grip the rail without waiting to turn the page.

7 comments:

  1. great post and love the look. do you think one day this will replace your physical books? i think its a grand product...

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  2. I don't think I could ever get rid of my library. It's like a part of me lives in those books. I find report cards, pictures, plane tickets, letters, etc. every time I open them. It's a treasure hunt!

    That said, Kindle is pretty cool to streamline all of the different mediums you read. Once they improve the internet connection, it'll be amazing!

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  3. As a fellow bibliophile and Kindle 2 user, I have to admit that at first I felt like nothing other than a traitor when I started reading on the device.

    I believe that I will always prefer holding a book to using an e-reader. Storage capacity and convenience aside, I have found that the most appealing thing about the Kindle is using it at the gym. The ability to increase the font size on any book is invaluable when you are trying to read on the treadmill or elliptical machine.

    While I have several issues with Apple's new iPad (a closed platform with no proper OS), I really think that something like that will be a large draw for people that would like to easily surf the internet while doing cardio. If you take the iPad at face value as nothing more than a multi-purpose e-reader, I see it quickly gaining a sizable marketshare.

    I cannot stress enough how much I am concerned about the "e-book revolution" undermining existing libraries and bookstores. This huge push to digitalize everything is already coming at a large cost to bookstores everywhere. I find the fact that current data storage life only lasts for a decade or so to be extremely problematic, while books can last for centuries or longer.

    On a lighter note, if you haven't seen these original Macbook exterior protectors made from leather book covers, take a look at BookBook.

    http://www.twelvesouth.com/products/bookbook/

    I don't know if there are any over-heating issues with this particular laptop cover but I absolutely love the idea (as long as no actual books were harmed in the making).

    P.S.- I hope my comment formats correctly

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  4. I'm still on the fence. Sometimes I think I will, then again I think I won't. I'm utterly despondent over the demise of all my favorite magazines. Making the choice to go digital with books is an emotional decision for me so I appreciate this discussion.

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  5. Thank you for the discussion today. I really needed some enlightenment during this weather.

    It's true, while I find Kindle convenient, there is nothing like a book or a magazine, and it's such a good point about the demise of the print industry and the undermining of libraries and bookstores. What do you do if you love the artistry of print or appreciate a library's function?

    I don't think I'll ever stop buying books. It's silly, but after I read my current Kindle book, I'm going to buy a paperback version too. I have to live with a book, let it own me and consume my life. That's really hard to do on the Kindle.

    P.S. I didn't think about Kindle and the gym, but that's a good idea. Another pro, but this bibliophile has the gift certificates to Border's and Barnes and Noble out and is ready to purchase :) Now I need some certificates to local bookstores, and I'd feel good.

    Thanks again everyone. I have a lot to think about to find a happy medium between digital and print.

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  6. You've made your former (not old) English teacher smile today. Best, Jennifer Cohodas

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  7. Mrs. Cohodas! I'm sorry I just saw your comment. What a pleasant surprise. Thank you for dropping in, and you've made me smile a big smile today!

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